I woke up the other morning to a Facebook feed that was slightly different to normal. Sure it had the usual mix of weird baby photos and updates about house renovations that seem to dominate lately, but it also had a whole bunch of things like this:
As usual when travelling I had pretty much no idea what was going on outside my immediate world, so I turned to Google to figure it out. The US news sites and forums were full of breathless articles about people queuing out into the street to buy tickets for a huge lottery draw in Atlanta, Georgia.
Ignoring the fact that the chances of winning were apparently somewhere around 175 million to one, the over-riding theme of those articles was WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH $640 MILLION DOLLARS?
Suggestions included such useful tips as “give your baby’s nursery a $1 million makeover and fill it with platinum jewellery”, “buy an albino panther” and “invest in genetically engineering animals so that they look like Pokemon”.
It did get me thinking, though, about how my life would change if I won a ridiculous amount of cash like that. I thought about it for quite a while, and came up with a comprehensive list of things that I would do differently if I had half a billion dollars sitting in the bank.
And seriously, that was it. Obviously I’d do all the usual things – help my friends and family get out of debt, donate to charity and all the rest. I’d give the vast bulk of the money away, in fact, because I simply don’t need it. I know a lot of people say that, but I genuinely believe it. Why?
Because I am already living exactly the life I want to live.
I know that for less than $50k a year I can keep doing this forever. Even if I live to 100, that is only three million bucks. By my reckoning that leaves approximately $637,000,000 that I have no need for. Even after putting money aside as insurance against emergencies, there’s a hell of a lot left over.
Not worrying about money would be nice, but that’s it. Nice.
It’s not a necessity.
I don’t need to win the lottery to have the life of my dreams.
I already have it. Every single day.
This morning I woke up and walked along a deserted golden beach before breakfast. I kicked my feet through the sand and splashed around in the waves. The sun was already climbing in the sky, drying the salt on my skin as I sat and enjoyed the view. Birds sang in the forest behind me.
I did the same yesterday. I’ll do the same tomorrow.
I don’t need to be a multi-millionaire to have a life like this.
On days like today, I already feel like one.
[Lottery ticket image via Robert S. Donovan]